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CROSS-UK Newsletter 67

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CROSS-UK Newsletter 67 has been published which includes expert comment on fire and structural safety reports.

Control of temporary works excavation

Poor, high-water content excavated material, slipped into a 15-20m deep borrow pit. The material had slipped to the bottom of the pit partially burying excavation, crushing and screening equipment. If this slip had occurred during working hours, the impact could have been very serious.

Fire spread through balconies

This report highlights that the extensive use of combustible materials in the construction of balconies can result in fire spread over the external wall to an extent which is inadequate for building safety, even buildings less than 18m.

Connection fixity considerations for steel frame modelling

This report concerns the modelling of joints when using computer programs. In some cases, engineers are applying rotational releases to joints in models but subsequently designing the connections as rigid. This leaves a fundamental mismatch between analysis and design which may lead to unsafe structural connections argues a reporter.

Do planning applications hinder safety improvements?

A potential issue about the reconstruction of a structurally inadequate external fire escape from a building has been raised with CROSS.

Stunts on bridges cause concern

A thrill-seeker travelling up and over the arch of a bridge, risking serious injury to themselves and others, raises the concerns of a reporter.

Fire extinguishers in common areas

A reporter raises a point about the provision of fire extinguishers in the common parts of flats. They go on to say that extinguishers should be provided in some cases, to cover identified risks, but that they are not specified due to cost savings pressures and assessor unawareness.

Toughened glass failures

The number of failures of heat-soaked toughened glass leads to a finding that the glass produced by some processors has not been properly heat-soaked and is therefore much more likely to shatter in use.

COVID-19 and the impact on construction quality

A reporter is concerned that during the Covid lockdowns, there may have been work done without adequate independent supervision.

Inadequate design for basement works

An inadequate structural design for alterations to a basement led to structural distress within a substantial five-storey townhouse.

Concern over the quality of a fire safety design submission

A Building Control Officer is disquieted by the quality of a design submission and the respective approach of a fire engineer in assessing structural fire matters.

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